If you’re nervous about trying a child bike seat for the first time, the Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini is an excellent choice and the seat we used with our own baby! In addition to being a high-quality seat with lots of features, the Nexxt’s mounting adapter fits most bikes. Read the full review below!
Yepp Nexxt Mini
BEST FOR: Families who are unsure if their bike has room to mount a seat. In addition to being a high-quality seat with lots of features, the Nexxt’s mounting adapter fits more bikes that other seats.
MOUNT TYPE: Front
SUGGESTED AGE: 9 mo. to 3 yr.
- Mounting bracket fits on various styles of bikes
- Handlebar provides a place for kids to place their hands
- Made of durable, weather-resistant foam
- Cushioning seat
- Compact for minimal interference for adult rider
- Mounts and dismounts from bike in seconds
- Foot straps work well (rare for bike seats!)
- Only one shoulder strap height -shoulder straps can be hard to fit for older kids
- Universal mounting adapter may not fit all threadless headsets
Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini Review – Results of our Test Rides
If only I had recorded a video of my baby squealing with excitement on her maiden voyage in the Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini! That’s really the best testimonial we could give you. For my part, I was a bit nervous (actually completely terrified) to strap my baby to the front of my bike and take her for a ride. Turns out, baby bike seats are completely awesome, much easier to use that you’d think, and epic entertainment for little ones.
Having tested out a front and rear-mounted seat in the same day, I hands down preferred the front-mounted Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini. From a technical standpoint, my bike was easier to handle without awkward added weight in the back. From an experience standpoint, I enjoyed being able to have my baby basically in my arms – the snuggle factor was a huge plus for me! Plus, the baby certainly enjoyed the view much more sitting out front than in back staring at my bum on the rear-mounted seat.
Thule makes seven different child bike seats, three of which are front-frame mounted. The names can be a bit confusing, as can the differences between them. Here’s a quick summary comparison of the front-mounted seats.
Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini: Compact and comfortable, the Yepp Nexxt Mini is a great first child bike seat for kids and parents.
Thule Ridealong Mini: With backpack-style shoulder straps that don’t slip off shoulders, and two shoulder height settings, the Ridealong Mini is great choice for growing kids if you don’t mind its lack of ventilation.
Thule Front-Mounted Child Bike Seat Comparison
|Feature||Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini||Thule Yepp Mini||Thule RideAlong Mini|
|Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini||Thule Yepp Mini||Thule Ridealong Mini|
|Space Need to Mount||21 mm||1 5/8" (threaded), 1/8" (threadless)||.75"|
|Threaded Stem Diameter||20 - 28 mm||21 - 28 mm||20 - 28 mm|
|Threadless Stem Diameter||28.6 mm (1 1/8")||28.6 mm (1 1/8")||28.6 mm (1 1/8")|
|Threadless Adapter||Not needed||Required, not included||Included|
|Age||1 - 3 years||1 - 3 years||1 - 3 years|
|Weight Capacity||20 - 33 lb||20 - 33 lb||20 - 33 lb|
|Harness||5 point||5 point||5 point|
|Weight||3.6 lb||7.7 lb||5.9 lb|
|Suspension||No, but shock absorbing seat||No, but shock absorbing seat|
|Shoulder Straps||1 height||1 height||2 heights|
|Shoulder Strap Ease||Standard||Standard||Back pack style|
|Quick Release Bracket||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Before any of the rest of this review even matters to you, you have to figure out if the Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini will fit on your bike. As with any child bike seat, finding one that mounts to your specific bike is always the biggest challenge.
The Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini is unique because it comes with a universal quick-release mounting bracket that’s designed for both normal (threaded) and ahead (threadless) stems. This is important because threadless headsets are generally problematic with fitting a front-mounted child bike seat. Some front-mounted seats have optional mounting adapters for threadless headsets, while others just won’t fit a threadless headset period. If you have no idea what this means, please check out our article How To Choose: Child Bike Seats.
The manual provided by Thule states that the mounting bracket will fit stems ranging in diameter from 20 to 28 mm, but some threadless headsets are going to be larger than this, so look up the specs of your bike before purchasing this seat! For us, the bracket didn’t fit well on the first bike we tried (Fuji Traverse). Although the bike’s threadless stem was at the maximum diameter range that the bracket should fit, we couldn’t secure it well enough that we felt comfortable putting our child on it.
The second bike we tried – Priority Classic Gotham – has a more narrow, threaded system that was a much more natural fit for the bracket. Even so, we had to crank down those bolts soooooooo hard to get the bracket to stay in place and not shift from side to side. This is pretty much standard with all front-mounted seats, so get ready to use your muscles!
In addition to stem diameter requirements, you also need a minimum of 21 mm (0.83″) in vertical space on the stem for mounting.
Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini’s Universal Mounting Bracket
Quick Release Bracket
Once you have the bracket installed on the bike, the bike seat itself can be mounted or dismounted from that bracket easily via a quick-release lever. So while you leave the mounting bracket on the bike permanently, the bike seat can be removed in just seconds. This allows you to ride with or without baby at your whim! This is a standard feature with high-end front-mounted child bike seats.
Quick Release Bracket Allows You To Mount or Dismount Seat in Seconds
The narrow profile and rounded edges of the egg-shaped seat make the Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini as non-obtrusive as a front-mounted seat can be. As a tall woman (5’10) on a bike with a medium-sized frame, I needed to scoot back on my saddle so that my knees didn’t hit the seat. Even when my knees did hit the seat on occasion, the seat is narrow enough that it really only hit the inside of my knees. I was able to easily adjust my pedal stroke to make my knees slightly wider to prevent interference.
Rider space is a very common issue with front-mounted seats. Front-mounted bike seats take up about 10″ of space between the stem and saddle of the bike. If your top tube (the distance between your handlebars and seat tube) is less than 20″, you will likely have difficulty riding with a front-mounted seat as your chest and knees with both hit the seat. I had no issue at all with my chest coming into contact with this seat.
Overall, even as my very first experience riding with a baby in a child bike seat, the Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini was so much fun and easy to use. The bike was still easy to handle and while it’s obviously more difficult to ride with a baby sitting in front of you, it felt really natural!
Size and Age of Child
Front-mounted seats are smaller than rear-mounted seats because they have to fit between the adult rider and the rider’s handlebars. All of Thule’s front-mounted seats are designed for babies and toddlers 20 – 33 lbs, or 1 – 3-years-old. Rear-mounted seats can be bigger because there’s more room in the rear of a bike, so they typically fit kids longer, up to 6 years old.
Be aware that many seats (including the Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini) say they can fit children as young as 9 months old. Many states actually have laws prohibiting the use of a child bike seat until a child is a year old, and many physicians also advise against use before a child turns one. Ask your doctor if you’re concerned! We prefer to err on the side of caution and don’t test child bike seats with children under one year of age.
Our primary tester was 12 months old, 22.6 lbs, and in the 82nd percentile for height and weight. She fits very comfortably in the seat, and based on Two Wheeling Tots’ past experience with front-mounted seats, will probably fit just as comfortably for about a year to a year and a half.
To test a child on the larger end of this range, we enlisted the help of a 2.5-year-old who weighs 30 pounds. She was obviously much larger than our baby tester, but still fit the seat just fine.
From an adult rider perspective I could tell I was carrying a heavier load with my older rider, but it didn’t bother me. The only slight irritation was that because she was taller, the top of her helmet was in my line of sight the whole time, but it didn’t actually obstruct my view.
Size Comparison – 12 Month Old (22.6 lbs) vs 2.5 Year Old (30 lbs.)
The Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini’s 5 point harness system features non-slip shoulder straps. They’re good-quality nylon, padded, and we had no difficulty adjusting them on our younger tester. For our older tester, it was a bit more challenging, but we finally got it right.
They are the same style as other high-quality bike seats like the Thule Yepp Mini and the Hamax Observer. They aren’t the best available, but they are really good.
Thule’s Ridealong Mini, on the other hand, has the most superior shoulder straps we’ve seen – they’re backpack-style, thickly padded from shoulder to chest for maximum comfort. And because the two straps are attached to one another, they can’t slip off the shoulders. They also have an adjustment system that’s slightly easier to use – you pull down to tighten, and to loosen, you push the blue button.
Shoulder Straps on Thule Yepp Next Mini vs. RideAlong Mini
Like the vast majority of front-mounted bike seats, the Nexxt Mini’s shoulder straps are not height adjustable. Shoulder straps should fit like a car seat – a range from slightly below to slightly above the shoulder. If a child is too tall and the straps start significantly lower than their shoulders, the straps have a much higher chance of sliding off. Because a front-mounted child bike seat is only used for about a year or year and a half, this potential sizing problem is less of an issue.
You can see in the image below that the should strap is just above our 12-month-old tester’s shoulder. It fits perfectly and keeps her snuggly in place. We had a much harder time fitting the straps to our 2.5-year-old tester. The shoulder strap starts significantly below her shoulder and we were less confident in them staying put.
That said, they did stay put during our ride. You would never buy this size of bike seat for a child her size. This should be the scenario of your child has used this seat for about a year and half and is ready to move on to rear-mounted bikes seat in the next few months.
If this is a concern for you and you want your child to be able to ride longer with you up front, the Thule Ridealong Mini’s shoulder strap system does offer two different heights for a more comfortable and accurate fit as kids grow.
Shoulder Straps are a Better Fit for Younger Riders
Of all the Thule front-mounted seats, the Yepp Nexxt Mini has the coolest buckle. Can a buckle be cool? Actually, yes. It’s a two-handed, child-proof magnetic safety buckle. It’s kind of parent-proof at first too, (haha!) but once you figure it out, it’s simple to use.
The blue triangles “eyes” click in place to lock, and by pushing down and over on the blue “smile”, the magnet releases. It definitely takes two hands and adult coordination.
Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini’s Child-Proof Magnetic Buckle
The Yepp Nexxt Mini’s seat is made of a firm, durable foam very similar to the dark gray foam core you find in bike helmets. It’s surrounded in the back by a hard plastic shell, and the bottom is lined with soft, high-quality padding.
There are two large holes in the back of the seat for venting, which is significantly more venting than the Thule Ridealong Mini (which doesn’t really have any), but not quite as vented as the best-in-class perforated venting of the Thule Yepp Mini.
Yepp Nexxt Mini’s Seat Construction
The seat height comes to the top of the shoulders of our 12-month-old tester. It’s high enough that the shoulder straps stay securely in place, but not so high that there’s any interference with a child’s helmet. Most rear-mounted seats are taller and need a helmet recess so a child’s head doesn’t get pushed forward by the bulk of the back of their helmet. This is not an issue with any front-mounted seat we’ve seen.
Some front mounted seats have side wings, but the Yepp Nexxt Mini does not. Side wings with bumpers are more common in rear-mounted seats because they can protect little hands from getting pinched when a parent leans the bike against a wall. With a front-mounted seat, the bike’s handlebars will always be leaning against the wall, so the child’s fingers can’t get pinched between the seat and the wall. We don’t really see any practical purpose to side wings and bumpers on front-mounted seats, but they could possibly make a child feel more contained and safe.
Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini Does Not Have Side Wings
Suspension isn’t found on any front-mounted child bike seat, but the Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini does feature a shock-absorbing seat, which helps to dampen bumps in the road.
The foot rests on the Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini are continuously adjustable for a super-accurate fit for your child. The foot straps are easy to secure, but like all foot straps we’ve seen, a squirmy child can possibly remove their feet. Those little feet can end up on your handlebars, which happened to us the very first time we took our 12-month-old tester out for a ride.
This isn’t an issue that we’ve seen anyone able to solve completely, so just know that little feet on your handlebars is a potential downside for any front-mounted seat. The best thing you can do is make your child wear shoes. Once we put shoes on our baby tester, the added bulk kept her feet contained under the strap and we didn’t have any further problems.
Footstraps of Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini Work Much Better Than RideAlong’s
The Yepp Nexxt Mini doesn’t have leg rests attached to the foot rests like some other seats, like the Thule RideAlong Mini or Lite. Some kids are more likely to keep their feet in place when they have leg rests behind them, but that shouldn’t be a determining factor for you.
Additionally, as far as foot straps go, the Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini’s are some of the best we’ve seen, and are far superior to those found on the Thule RideAlong system. The RideAlong’s are super hard to adjust and don’t stay adjusted properly. So overall, in the foot rest war, the Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini comes out on top!
All of Thule’s front-mounted seats come with a handlebar. While babies and toddlers love having something to hold on to and play with, it’s a nice to have but not a deal breaker.
The Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini is a compact, super lightweight, and easy-to-use front-mounted bike seat. If you’re nervous about trying a child bike seat for the first time, or just want one that’s minimally obtrusive, the Thule Yepp Nexxt Mini is an excellent choice.